See regional map V


Total area: 83,850 km²; land area: 82,730 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries: 2,640 km total; Czechoslovakia 548 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 37 km, Switzerland 164 km, FRG 784 km, Yugoslavia 311 km

Coastline: none—landlocked

Maritime claims: none—landlocked

Disputes: South Tyrol question with Italy

Climate: temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers

Terrain: mostly mountains with Alps in west and south; mostly flat, with gentle slopes along eastern and northern margins

Natural resources: iron ore, crude oil, timber, magnesite, aluminum, lead, coal, lignite, copper, hydropower

Land use: 17% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 24% meadows and pastures; 39% forest and woodland; 19% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: because of steep slopes, poor soils, and cold temperatures, population is concentrated on eastern lowlands

Note: landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube


Population: 7,644,275 (July 1990), growth rate 0.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 12 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 80 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Austrian(s); adjective—Austrian

Ethnic divisions: 99.4% German, 0.3% Croatian, 0.2% Slovene, 0.1% other

Religion: 85% Roman Catholic, 6% Protestant, 9% other

Language: German

Literacy: 98%

Labor force: 3,037,000; 56.4% services, 35.4% industry and crafts, 8.1% agriculture and forestry; an estimated 200,000 Austrians are employed in other European countries; foreign laborers in Austria number 177,840, about 6% of labor force (1988)

Organized labor: 1,672,820 members of Austrian Trade Union Federation (1984)


Long-form name: Republic of Austria

Type: federal republic

Capital: Vienna

Administrative divisions: 9 states (bundesländer, singular—bundesland); Burgenland, Kärnten, Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Steiermark, Tirol, Vorarlberg, Wien

Independence: 12 November 1918 (from Austro-Hungarian Empire)

Constitution: 1920, revised 1929 (reinstated 1945)

Legal system: civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of legislative acts by a Constitutional Court; separate administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: National Day, 26 October (1955)

Executive branch: president, chancellor, vice chancellor, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) consists of an upper council or Federal Council (Bundesrat) and a lower council or National Council (Nationalrat)

Judicial branch: Supreme Judicial Court (Oberster Gerichtshof) for civil and criminal cases. Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof) for bureaucratic cases, Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) for constitutional cases

Leaders: Chief of State—President Kurt WALDHEIM (since 8 July 1986);

Head of Government—Chancellor Franz VRANITZKY (since 16 June 1986); Vice Chancellor Josef RIEGLER (since 19 May 1989)

Political parties and leaders: Socialist Party of Austria (SPÖ), Franz Vranitzky, chairman; Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), Josef Riegler, chairman; Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Jörg Haider, chairman; Communist Party (KPÖ), Franz Muhri, chairman; Green Alternative List (GAL), Andreas Wabl, chairman

Suffrage: universal at age 19; compulsory for presidential elections

Elections: President—last held 8 June 1986 (next to be held May 1992); results of Second Ballot—Dr. Kurt Waldheim 53.89%, Dr. Kurt Steyrer 46.11%;

Federal Council—last held 23 November 1986 (next to be held November 1990); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(63 total) ÖVP 32, SPÖ 30, FPÖ 1;

National Council—last held 23 November 1986 (next to be held November 1990); results—SPÖ 43.1%, ÖVP 41.3%, FPÖ 9.7%, GAL 4.8%, KPÖ 0.7%, other 0.32%; seats—(183 total) SPÖ 80, ÖVP 77, FPÖ 18, GAL 8

Communists: membership 15,000 est.; activists 7,000-8,000

Other political or pressure groups: Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Austrian Trade Union Federation (primarily Socialist); three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) representing business, labor, and farmers; ÖVP-oriented League of Austrian Industrialists; Roman Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic Action

Member of: ADB, Council of Europe, CCC, DAC, ECE, EFTA, EMA, ESA, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IDB—Inter-American Development Bank, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, OECD, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, WSG; Austria is neutral and is not a member of NATO or the EC

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Friedrich HOESS; Embassy at 2343 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 483-4474; there are Austrian Consulates General in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York; US Ambassador Henry A. GRUNWALD; Embassy at Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1091, Vienna (mailing address is APO New York 09108); telephone [43] (222) 31-55-11; there is a US Consulate General in Salzburg

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red


Overview: Austria boasts a prosperous and stable capitalist economy with a sizable proportion of nationalized industry and extensive welfare benefits. Thanks to an excellent raw material endowment, a technically skilled labor force, and strong links with West German industrial firms, Austria has successfully occupied specialized niches in European industry and services (tourism, banking) and produces almost enough food to feed itself with only 8% of the labor force in agriculture. Living standards are roughly comparable with the large industrial countries of Western Europe. Problems for the 1990s include an aging population and the struggle to keep welfare benefits within budget capabilities.

GDP: $103.2 billion, per capita $13,600; real growth rate 4.2% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (1989)

Unemployment: 4.8% (1989)

Budget: revenues $34.2 billion; expenditures $39.5 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1988)

Exports: $31.2 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—machinery and equipment, iron and steel, lumber, textiles, paper products, chemicals; partners—FRG 35%, Italy 10%, Eastern Europe 9%, Switzerland 7%, US 4%, OPEC 3%

Imports: $37.9 billion (c.i.f., 1989); commodities—petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemicals, textiles and clothing, pharmaceuticals; partners—FRG 44%, Italy 9%, Eastern Europe 6%, Switzerland 5%, US 4%, USSR 2%

External debt: $12.4 billion (December 1987)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.8% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 17,562,000 kW capacity; 49,290 million kWh produced, 6,500 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: foods, iron and steel, machines, textiles, chemicals, electrical, paper and pulp, tourism, mining

Agriculture: accounts for 4% of GDP (including forestry); principal crops and animals grains, fruit, potatoes, sugar beets, sawn wood, cattle, pigs poultry; 80-90% self-sufficient in food

Aid: donor—ODA and OOF commitments (1970-87), $1.7 billion

Currency: Austrian schilling (plural—schillings); 1 Austrian schilling (S) = 100 groschen

Exchange rates: Austrian schillings (S) per US$1—11.907 (January 1990), 13.231 (1989), 12.348(1988), 12.643(1987), 15.267(1986), 20.690(1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 6,028 km total; 5,388 km government owned and 640 km privately owned (1.435- and 1.000-meter gauge); 5,403 km 1.435-meter standard gauge of which 3,051 km is electrified and 1,520 km is double tracked; 363 km 0.760-meter narrow gauge of which 91 km is electrified

Highways: 95,412 km total; 34,612 are the primary network (including 1,012 km of autobahn, 10,400 km of federal, and 23,200 km of provincial roads); of this number, 21,812 km are paved and 12,800 km are unpaved; in addition, there are 60,800 km of communal roads (mostly gravel, crushed stone, earth)

Inland waterways: 446 km

Ports: Vienna, Linz (river ports)

Merchant marine: 29 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 209,311 GRT/366,401 DWT; includes 23 cargo, 1 container, 5 bulk

Pipelines: 554 km crude oil; 2,611 km natural gas; 171 km refined products Civil air: 25 major transport aircraft Airports: 55 total, 54 usable; 19 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 5 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 4 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: highly developed and efficient; 4,014,000 telephones; extensive TV and radiobroadcast systems; stations—6 AM, 21 (544 repeaters) FM, 47 (867 repeaters) TV; satellite stations operating in INTELSAT 1 Atlantic Ocean earth station and 1 Indian Ocean earth station and EUTELSAT systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Flying Division

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,970,189; 1,656,228 fit for military service; 50,090 reach military age (19) annually

Defense expenditures: 1.1% of GDP, or $1.1 billion (1989 est.)